Penguins 3, Islanders 2 (SO)

Evgeni Nabokov made 30 saves in 65 minutes of play; Rick DiPietro replaced him for the shootout; the Isles earned one point in the effort

Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 10:46 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Penguins 3, Islanders 2 (SO)
Evgeni Malkin scored the lone goal in the shootout to propel the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 win over the Islanders on Thursday night at Consol Energy Center. Rick DiPietro, who entered the game in the shootout, made saves on Kris Letang and James Neal. The Islanders come home from Pittsburgh with a point.

“We want to get points, whether it’s a point or two in every game that we play,” Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said. “There is no question that we were fortunate that we were where we were after two periods.”

With just 1:01 left on the clock in the first period, Frans Nielsen’s shot low glove side gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead as he stood through the traffic area and found a Kyle Okposo rebound.

Matt Martin celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on October 27, 2011. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
The Islanders were outshot 13-2 in the second frame and 32-19 on the night.

“I give our D a lot of credit tonight,” Capuano said. “They were chipping pucks all night long, coming in on the forecheck, really playing a physical game and our D really were strong tonight taking a hit to make plays.”

Forty-five seconds into the third period, Matt Martin scored his first goal of the season to send the Islanders ahead 2-0 as he converted on a rebound beating Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

“I’m real happy with the performance of those guys,” Capuano said referring to Martin and his linemates Marty Reasoner and Jay Pandolfo. “Even on the penalty kill, they handled blocking shots. Marty did a great job tonight.”

Despite their physical play, the Islanders were unable to hold the lead as Chris Kunitz scored an even-strength goal just 44 seconds later, cutting the lead in half.

Just over a minute later, Okposo was sent to the box for a questionable goaltender interference call and that Islanders penalty kill – the fifth of six on the night – would prove to be where the Penguins would tie the score. A tic-tac-toe play from Malkin and Kunitz found James Neal right outside the crease for an open net.

“It’s disappointing that we were up 2-0 and then the next shift, our d-zone coverage was just dismantled and guys were running around,” Capuano said. “When our forwards are not stopping and starting, that’s what happens, the pucks end up in your net.”

But the Islanders still killed 5-of-6 penalties and blocked 23 shots on net.

Evgeni Nabokov stops the puck in front of James Neal on October 27, 2011 at Consol Energy Center. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)
“We had two chances on the PK to put the puck 200 feet and we didn’t,” Capuano said. “Nine out of 10 times, when they don’t clear it, it’s in the back of your net. But our PK did a good job. They blocked a lot of shots tonight.”

As always, your goaltender is your best penalty killer and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 30 shots in 65 minutes of game action. Then, in a last-minute decision, Capuano pulled the netminder in favor of DiPietro, who would see his first game action of this season in the shootout.

“I love our goalies. All three of them have played well and given us a chance, so I have no issues. One guy couldn’t go. I have all the faith in Ricky and he was great. He actually almost had Malkin’s there, but if we aren’t going to score, we aren’t going to win.”

After receiving queries on his decision to pull Nabokov, Capuano denied the veteran netminder was pulled because he felt uncomfortable.

“(Nabokov) wasn’t feeling well, so I had to put Ricky in… None of our goalies feel uncomfortable in situations like that,” Capuano said. “They’re all great competitors. Since the start of the season, they’ve given us a chance to win.”

The Islanders drop to 3-4-1 on the season. Their next game is at home on Saturday against the San Jose Sharks.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 77 34 43 -2 77
R. Strome 76 16 32 20 48
K. Okposo 55 16 31 -11 47
F. Nielsen 76 14 28 8 42
B. Nelson 77 19 22 7 41
A. Lee 71 23 16 10 39
J. Bailey 65 15 23 3 38
J. Boychuk 67 8 25 9 33
N. Leddy 73 10 21 14 31
T. Hamonic 67 5 26 16 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 36 16 2 .913 2.42
M. Neuvirth 1 3 1 .881 2.94

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